Recently, I acquired a Vostro laptop. I planned to install Fedora on it.
Vostro comes with Window XP installed. I do not like XP for two reasons. First, the longer you use it, the slower it becomes. Secondly, I worry about virus all the times. Since I am a heavy PC user, I decide make a good system plan for my laptop this time.
I do not want to remove Window installation completely, either. Window is the only system that Dell supports. If I need to contact Dell for support, I have to boot it to Window. Second, Window may have some good driver support for some hardware.
Ok, Finally plan to finish this post after one year.
The Fedora I installed: Fedora 12, 64-bit. I choose 64-bit at the very beginning. This is one thing I regret. Many softwares do not work for 64-bit. If you have a choice at the very beginning, I suggest 32-bit OS.
Audio: Use Gnome as your desktop manager. I used KDE first. I only made audio work once. Then it stopped working. It worked all the time after I switched to Gnome. I could not remember where I found this useful tip.
Video driver: follow this page:http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showpost.php?p=1114769&postcount=1
DVD player: Follow http://www.mjmwired.net/resources/mjm-fedora-f13.html this page to install all the available Video player. If you play some DVD, you can try all the Video player one by one. There will be one that work for you.
Wireless network card: follow this page: http://www.broadcom.com/support/802.11/linux_sta.php. Vostro 1720 comes with a switch through which you can turned off/on wireless network card. So before you do anything, make sure you turn it on. Otherwise, wireless network card can not be detected.